Saturday, July 26, 2008

the silver chair

"Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do."

"When she had had her bath, and brushed her hair, and put on the clothes that had been laid out for her - they were the kind that not only felt nice, but looked nice and smelled nice and made nice sounds when you moved as well..."

"It is a very funny thing that the sleepier you are, the longer you take about getting to bed; especially if you are lucky enough to have a fire in your room."

"'Don't you lose heart, Pole,' said Puddleglum. 'I'm coming sure and certain. I'm not going to lose an opportunity like this. It will do me good. They all say - I mean, the other wiggles all say - that I'm too flighty; don't take life seriously enough. If they've said it once, they've said it a thousand times. "Puddleglum," they've said, "you're altogether too full of bobance and bounce and high spirits. You've got to learn that life isn't all fricasseed frogs and eel pie. You want something to sober you down a bit. We're only saying it for your own good, Puddleglum." That's what they say. Now a job like this - a journey up north just as winter's beginning, looking for a Prince that probably isn't there, by way of a ruined city that no one has ever seen - will be just the thing. If that doesn't steady a chap, I don't know what will.' And he rubbed his hands together as if he were going to a party or a pantomime. 'And now,' he added, 'let's see how those eels are getting on.'"

"The children expected him to refuse it, distrusting the Gentle Giants as he did. But he muttered, 'It's rather late to be thinking of precautions now that we're inside and the door shut behind us.' Then he sniffed at the liquor. 'Smells all right,' he said. 'But that's nothing to go by. Better make sure,' and took a sip. 'Tastes all right too,' he said. 'But it might do that at the first sip. How does it go on?' He took a larger sip. 'Ah!' he said. 'But is it the same all the way down?' and took another. 'There'll be something nasty at the bottom, I shouldn't wonder,' he said, and finished the drink. He licked his lips and remarked to the children, 'This'll be a test, you see. If I curl up, or burst, or turn into a lizard, or something, then you'll know not to take anything they offer you.' But the giant, who was too far up to hear the things Puddlglum had been saying under his breath, roared with laughter and said, 'Why, Froggy, you're a man. See him put it away!'
'Not a man...Marsh-wiggle,' replied Puggleglum in a somewhat indistinct voice, 'Not frog, either: Marsh-wiggle.'
...The children stood up but Puddleglum remained sitting and said, 'Marsh-wiggle. Marsh-wiggle. Very respectable Marsh-wiggle. Respectowiggle.'
'Show them the way, young'un,' said the giant Porter. 'You'd better carry Froggy. He's had a drop more than's good for him.'
'Nothing wrong with me,' said Puddleglum. 'Not a frog. Nothing frog with me. I'm a respectabiggle.'"

"I know nothing so disagreeable as being kissed by a giantess."

"If you want to get out of a house without being seen, the middle of the afternoon is in some ways a better time to try it than in the middle of the night. Doors and windows are more likely to be open; and if you are caught, you can always pretend you weren't meaning to go far and had no particular plans. (It is very hard to make either giants or grown-ups believe this if you're found climbing out of a bedroom window at one o'clock in the morning.)"

"'There is no land called Narnia.' 'Yes there is, though, Ma'am,' said Puddleglum. 'You see, I happen to have lived there all my life.'"

"'One word, Ma'am,' he said, coming back from the fire, limping, because of the pain. 'One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things - trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies making up a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for your supper, if theses two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I shouldn't think; but that's small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say.'"

"For now they saw the Prince. ... I think they would have known him anyway. Pale though he was from long imprisonment in the Deep Lands, dressed in black, dusty, disheveled, and weary, there was something in his face and air which no one could mistake. That look is in the face of all true Kings of Narnia, who rule by the will of Aslan and sit at Cair Paravel on the throne of Peter the High King. Instantly every head was bared and every knee was bent; a moment later such cheering and shouting, such jumps and reels of joy, such hand-shakings and kissings and embracings of everybody by everybody else broke out that the tears came into Jill's eyes. Their quest had been worth all the pains it cost."

"Then they saw that they were once more on the Mountain of Aslan, high up above and beyond the end of that world in which Narnia lies. But the strange thing was that the funeral music of King Caspian still went on, though no one could tell where it came from. They were walking beside the stream and the Lion went before them: and he became so beautiful, and the music so despairing, that Jill did not know which of them it was that filled her eyes with tears."

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